Friday, April 13, 2007

Everybody Hurts...Sometimes

The Yankees appear to be in the middle of a injury storm. First Chein Ming Wang pulls a hamstring near the end of spring training. Then Matsui goes down with a muscle strain, Pettite has back issues, Damon has muscle cramps and Mussina pulls up lame from a hamstring strain (hey that rhymes!). It seems the cold weather that the Yankees were forced to play through during the first week of the season is taking it's toll. The Yankees do have a new strength and conditioning coach this year and there are some who are pointing the finger of blame his way. There are whispers that his stretching methods are not working for the Yankees. He apparently hasn't worked with a baseball team since the Montreal Expos, nine years ago.

I don't think that this has reached full scale panic mode for the Yankees and their fans at this point, but if there does happen to be a more serious injury then The Boss would probably step in and make a change. It seems silly to me that seasoned baseball players (and even the rookies have been playing baseball for over a decade) wouldn't know how to warm up and stretch at this point in their careers. If players are getting muscle injuries, their would be multiple causes. One is age (the Yankees are exactly filled with spring chickens), two is the weather (it is harder to get loose in colder temperatures) and third is just bad luck.

Yankee fans should feel fortunate that there hasn't been a more serious injury to any of the indispensable players on the team. As I wrote last year, if Mariano Rivera were to go down, the team would go from being a contender to an also ran. Last year the Yankees overcame major injuries to Matsui and Sheffield to win the division for the 10th year in a row. At some point the combination of cash and luck will not be enough for the Yankees to continue this run. Perhaps this is the year. I don't know, but injuries are part of the game and sometimes things just don't go your way. It seems that in Yankeeland however, a scapegoat is always needed. If there is one more injury to a Yankee starter, Marty Miller better make sure his resume is up to date.



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